Internationally adopted adolescents: How do they integrate ethnic and national identity?

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In recent years the phenomenon of international adoption has steadily increased, and many adopted children are now adolescents. At this developmental stage the construction of ethnic identity becomes crucial, involving additional challenges for interracial adoptees. Some recent studies, mostly American, have focused on ethnic identity of adoptees: their results, however, are inconsistent with patterns of ethnic identification. This could be related to the complexity of this issue and the different strategies used by adoptees to confront dual membership of ethnic group and new social context. The present article explores how international adoptees negotiate dual identity and how this process affects their well-being. A self-report questionnaire was administered individually to 97 international adoptees aged between 15 and 22. Four types of adoptees, representing different patterns of ethnic and national identification, were determined in relation to different well-being outcomes. The results suggest some practical applications in pre- and post-adoption parent-training programs.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)45-61
Numero di pagine17
RivistaItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • adoption
  • ethnic identity
  • national identity
  • well-being


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